Before the start of the new school year, it is a good idea to review Official Notes (Comments) located in onRecord > Settings > Comments > Comment Types.
It is recommended that you edit into each of the Comment types to be sure that each comment type is set up correctly for the new school year.
When you edit into a Comment type you will see the following:
Order in which the official note type will appear in the list of official notes when a new official note is recorded.
Name of the Official Note Type, for example Academic Highlight.
Approval Required checkbox
Check if the official note must be approved by the Comment Manager or Monitoring Team Member prior to posting live to the site.
No Approval Required
Check if no approval is required, additionally these options appear for email notification of the official notes.
Email From: Review Comments (Approval worklist)
Use this option if the Comments Manager or Monitoring Team Member is responsible for sending the email notification from the approval worklist.
Email from: Comment
Use this option if the author can choose to send an e-mail when saving the official notes.
Check to see if the correct school levels/grade levels are selected.
Access Group Settings
Access Groups control who has access to see the official notes online.
- Advisor – An Advisor that is tied to a Student through an Advisory Group
- All School Teacher – All Teachers at the school, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in their class.
- Coach – A Coach that is tied to a Student through an Athletic Group
- Dorm Supervisor – A Dorm Supervisor who is tied to a Student through a Dorm Group
- Teacher – A Teacher who is tied to a student through an Academic Group
- Parent – The Parent(s) for that student that have parental access set through the parent relationship
- Student – The student for whom the comment was written. There are 3 options for giving access to these groups:
- Display: Access group will be shown to official note author when recording an official note.
- Required: Official notes can be viewed by this access group. If the group is not required but is displayed, the author can choose to share the official note with the group.
- E-mail: Anyone in the access group will receive an e-mail notification for any official notes.
Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the screen to review Additional Details:
- Mark as inactive
Use to inactivate the comment type so it can no longer be used to record new official notes.
- Display only Current Year
Use this option to display only the current year’s official notes to users other than the original author and Comments Manager
Additionally it is also good to make sure everyone is listed in the existing Monitoring Teams and if any new Monitoring Teams need to be created. Monitoring Teams allow users to have approval/view access for official notes without having the Comment Manager role. For example, administrators at the school can be members of a monitoring team so that they can monitor official notes about a group of students without having the full responsibility of being a Comments Manager.
This can be done through onRecord > Settings > Comments > Monitoring Team.
When you edit into a Monitoring Team there are several things to review:
Order in which the Monitoring Team appears in the onRecord > Settings > Comments > Monitoring Team screen
Name of the Monitoring Team for example Upper School Admin Team
If members of the Monitoring Team should receive an email notification that an official note has been written against any of the Comment Types the Monitoring team is associated with then E-mail Access should be checked.
If members of the Monitoring Team should also have the ability to approve official notes that have been written against any of the Official Note Types the Monitoring team is associated with then Approval Access should be checked.
Check to make sure the members listed under Selected Users are correct
Lists out the available Comment Types by All or School Level/Grade Level that a Monitoring team could review.
Displays the current Comment Types that the Monitoring Team is tied to as well as the grade levels for which the Comment Type is being used.
For each Comment Type there is a Notification.
Each notification includes placeholders that can be used to create the e-mail message that will be sent to the user. To review notifications go to onRecord > Settings > Comments > Notifications
Last but not least it is good to see if there are any Official Notes (Comments) that did not get reviewed and are hanging out there. The number of Official Notes that are not reviewed will show up on the onRecord Dashboard.
If you are seeing a number for Official Notes on your onRecord dashboard then click on the number and it will take you to onRecord > Approval Comments. The number that appears on the Dashboard is not specific to the current school year but instead refers to any onRecord Official Note that has been written over the years. If you are not able to pull back any Official Notes using the current year date range try going back further to previous years.
Most of the information that is contained in this article is also available through a new help feature that we’ve introduced for Manager roles within the software. If you are a Comments Manager and you are looking at an onRecord Official Note screen you will notice a “?” at the top right of your screen. When you click on the “?” you will be taken to a screen with information regarding the options for Official Notes.
If you are looking to see how other schools work with Official Notes (Comments), you can check out the Discussion Forums through the NEW Blackbaud K-12 Community, and if you would like to see new functionality added to Official Notes (Comments) you can check out Ideas portal through the K12 Community.